Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

2011 Tucson Culinary Festival – What’s New?

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Tucson restaurant news

from the press release

The Tucson Originals are pleased to announce that the 9th Annual Tucson Culinary Festival will take place October 27 through 30, 2011.  The four day celebration of Tucson’s vibrant culinary scene kicks off with the World Margarita Championship on the patio at Maynards Market and Kitchen on Thursday, October 27h from 6-9 pm.

As an added attraction this year, invitations to the competition have been extended to include mixologists from other “originals” groups in other cities, as well as independent restaurants (members of MTCVB’s Vamos a Tucson program) in Sonora, Mexico.  Tickets – $40 per person.

“Dine Around Tucson” a new event this year, will take place on Friday, October 28 and will feature a geographical selection of dining “trails”, giving guests a unique opportunity to explore one of four distinct dining districts of Tucson in one fun evening.  Times and pricing TBA.

Then it’s onto host, Loews Ventana Canyon on Saturday, October 29, for the Reserve and Grand Tastings.  In previous years, these events were held on separate evenings.  The new format offers guests the opportunity to do both tasting events in one evening. The Reserve Tasting (5-6 pm) will feature tastings of rare boutique and small production wines, and an exclusive opportunity to talk with winemakers, special guests and chefs, in an intimate setting prior to the opening of the doors for the Grand Tasting (6-9 pm).

The Grand Tasting will showcase over 40 Tucson Original chefs offering tastings of their signature dishes; over 100 wine, beer and spirits purveyors; cocktail challenges in the Grand Lounge and more.   Tickets – Grand Tasting $65 pp, Reserve and Grand Tasting $90 pp.

The 2nd Annual Copper Chef Challenge and BBQ will take place at Loews on the Kiva Patio and Ballroom on Sunday, October 30 from 11 am to 3 pm.  This highly popular family event will once again feature the Chef Challenge as the main event – pitting current Copper Chef Addam Buzzalini (Exec.Chef /Maynards Market and Kitchen) against a yet to be named challenger.   Barbecue takes center stage, for both the competitors and the guests who will get to taste fabulous brunch and  bbq offerings from Tucson Originals restaurants.

Other activities will include a pumpkin carving contest, silent auction and several surprise “throw-down” challenges.

Tickets – $25 per person; free admission for children under 12.

Also new this year, special discounts for groups of 10 or more will be offered for online purchases. Complete  Festival details will be available on online after May 1.

The Tucson Culinary Festival is a production of the Tucson Originals, Tucson’s leading group of independently owned, local restaurants.  The mission of the festival is to showcase the fresh original flavors of Tucson, to reinforce the message to the public on the importance of supporting all locally owned businesses, and to generate funding for selected beneficiaries.

A portion of the Culinary Festival proceeds for this year will be given as follows:

  • World Margarita Championship beneficiary Arizona Children’s Association;
  • Reserve and Grand Tasting beneficiary Diamond Children’s Medical Center;
  • Copper Chef Challenge and Barbecue beneficiary New Beginnings for Women and Children


I love these new additions. Mix it up!

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